534 ' THE IRON INDUSTRY.
in 1872, but in 1895 it had risen to eleven million tons. In 1898 it was fifteen million and in 1903 about twenty-two million, of which France contributed five millions, Luxemburg six millions and Lothringen eleven millions.
It has been pointed out by Kirchhoff that the importance of the Minette district is concealed by its situation. The output from the whole deposit in 1903 was twenty-two million tons, which would make eight million tons of pig-iron, but this is divided between three nations, and even the portion which we have considered as German can hardly be called so rightly, since Luxemburg is not an integral part of the Empire. Luxemburg and Lothringen, in 1903, raised three-quarters of all the ore mined in Germany, but the production of pig-iron in the Minette field was only three-quarters as much as in the Euhr.
In 1899 there were seventeen active blast furnaces in Lothringen and twenty in Luxemburg, which were not connected with steel works in those provinces, but which sold their iron in the open market or shipped it to the Saar or the Ruhr, many of these furnaces being owned and operated by steel works in these two districts. There were twenty-two furnaces in Lothringen and nine in Luxemburg connected with adjacent steel works, so that less than half the furnaces in the district were owned by local steel plants.
The total number of active furnaces in 1899 was sixty-eight, and the production of pig-iron was 2,273,194 tons for the two divisions, representing an average of a little over 90 tons per day for each furnace. Such a calculation of average capacity is not usually of much value, as an old district is likely to have a number of small and antiquated plants, but in the official list published by the Verein Deutscher Eisenlmttenleute there are no very small furnaces mentioned in these two provinces. We may say, therefore, that the average furnace in the Minette district, most of the plants being of modern construction, turns out between ninety and one hundred tons per day, some of them exceeding this considerably. This is done on an ore running only 31 per cent, in iron, but, on the other hand, the mixture is self-fluxing, so that for comparison we must •take the ore and limestone together in non-calcareous ores, and, figuring in this way, we will find that Lake Superior ores, when mixed with the usual amount of stone, give about 45 per cent, of iron, so that furnaces working on Minette ores smelt about 50 per cent.